Can You Use Ceramic Plates in an Oven? (And in the Microwave?)

With the advancement in technology, nearly every home has an oven. While it is a convenient kitchen appliance, you may want to reheat your leftover in a ceramic plate. 

But can you use ceramic plates in the oven? Well, the answer is Yes. Ceramic plates are fine to use in the oven, but only use them if they are considered oven-safe. 

In this post, I’m going to walk you through all the essentials you need to know about ceramics, including the safety measures to observe when using ceramics in the oven. 

Ready, let’s cut to the chase:

Is Ceramic Plate Oven-Safe?

Yes, ceramic plates are okay to use in the oven. However, they should be used under low temperatures. And because ceramic plates vary in structure, some will crack due to thermal stress, so make sure to preheat the oven beforehand. 

Meanwhile, observe the following measures to keep your ceramic plate safe in the oven: 

  • Preheat the oven beforehand.
  • Allow the ceramic plate to warm in the oven for a few minutes to prevent it from thermal shock. A steady change in temperature reduces the chance of breakage.
  • Don’t heat the ceramic plate above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Avoid putting hot food in a cold ceramic plate or cold food in a heated ceramic plate. This prevents the plate from thermal stress resulting from sudden expansion or contraction.

When Is It Safe to Put a Plate in the Oven? (Type of Material Plate is Made of)

Oven-safe dishware will often include a symbol or words beneath the plate that states whether or not the plate is safe to use in the oven. If not, you’ll have to go as per the manufacturer’s prompts to use the plate. 

1. Plastic or Melamine

While this is a no brainer, do not use melamine and plastic plates in the oven. This is because plastic melts even in low temperatures, causing a mess both in your hands and the oven. Apart from causing a mess, the fumes from a melting plastic could irritate your lungs. This would also mean the pollution of the environment. 

2. Metal

Regardless of the type, metals are fine to use in the oven. Such include cast iron, stainless steel, and metals coated with enamel. However, you’ll need to be extra careful when taking it out from the oven, as metals are good heat conductors. Meanwhile, you can use hot pads to place a hot metal just like you’d have done to a sheet pan.

3. Ceramic

Ceramic plates can accommodate a low-temperature oven. However, you should avoid using plates with decorations such as branding or printing. More often, these decorations will come out when heated unless they are specifically manufactured to use in an oven. Again, you’ll want to be extra cautious when removing a ceramic plate from the oven. Plates can be difficult to take out from the oven compared to a pan. 

4. Glass

Glass are delicate structures. While it can withstand a certain range of temperatures, it’s more vulnerable to thermal shock. This usually happens when there is a sudden temperature change, causing the glass to expand or contract at different speeds. Even worse, the glass may crack or break.  

Fortunately, you can prevent thermal shock by tampering with the glass. However, there’s no solid evidence that confirms this, but a tampered glass will surely accommodate the temperature change. 

How Can I Use a Plate in the Oven?

It will help if you keep the temperature relatively low when using a ceramic dish in the oven. Do not heat a ceramic plate at temperatures above 250 degrees to prevent breakage. To maintain lower temperatures, make sure to leave the plate in the oven a little bit longer than you’d have done in a microwave.   

And because these two appliances vary in structure, the plate is going to take longer to heat up in the oven than a microwave. While ceramic plates may be safe to some extent, it’s not recommended for oven use. Like any other plates, there are risks involved, such as breakage. 

If you’re in dire need of some warm food, and you don’t have access to a microwave, it would be best to transfer the food into a baking dish to be on the safer side. Either way, please be extra careful when handling items that aren’t safe for the oven. You wouldn’t want things to end up messy, would you?

How Hot Can a Ceramic Plate Get?

Ceramicware can accommodate high temperatures of up to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit during the firing process. However, it cannot withstand thermal shock – due to the sudden change in temperatures.  

Additionally, ceramic plates can safely go into the microwave oven, especially the ones with dry, unglazed decorations. But there’s a problem though. Ceramic plates considered microwave-safe are usually made of porous material that absorbs water. When this plate is used in a microwave, the absorbed water heats up, releasing toxic chemicals like lead that can be hazardous to human safety.  

Similarly, ceramic plates are oven-safe. According to the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration, the post-1960 ceramic plates are generally fine to use in the oven compared to the older ceramic that may contain radioactive chemicals. Further, they recommend keeping such items out of the oven for safety reasons. 

So what types of plates are safe to use in the oven? 

Well, any plate that has been proven oven-safe is okay to use in the oven. Meanwhile, metal plates and pyrex plates are considered oven-safe. As for ceramic, clay, and porcelain plates, consider the ones with wet clay construction or glass-like structure to use in the oven.

Does Ceramic Get Hot?

Yes, although the unglazed ceramic is often considered microwave safe. But there is still a problem, though. Unglazed ceramic is made of porous material that absorbs water. When heated in a microwave, the absorbed water becomes hot, causing uneven expansion. When this happens, the chances are that your ceramic dish will break due to thermal stress

What Temperature Can Ceramic Withstand?

Typically, ceramics can accommodate high temperatures anywhere from 1,000 to 1,600 degrees Celsius or 1,800 to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. More often, glass isn’t considered as ceramic due to its amorphous structure. 

Does Ceramic Retain Heat?

Yes, but at a slower rate. Conduction usually happens when there is an interaction between two different phases – hot and cold. And because ceramic exhibits porous construction, conduction occurs slower in ceramics than in glass. In practice, pour coffee in a ceramic and glass mug to compare their capabilities. You’ll notice that ceramic lose heat slowly compared to glass. 

Can Ceramic Catch Fire?

No. Just like you’d drop a lighted cigarette on a tiled-floor, ceramic plates won’t burn even when placed on hot sheet pans. And because ceramic is fired at extremely high temperatures, it does not release VOC emissions. In other words, ceramic won’t burn let alone melting.  

What is the Melting Temperature of Ceramic?

Fired at extremely high temperatures, ceramic exhibit high melting points compared to many other metals. The most common types of ceramics include Chromia 3450 degrees Fahrenheit, Titania 3245 degrees Fahrenheit, Aluminum oxide 3720 degrees Fahrenheit, Tungsten Carbide/Cobalt 5200 degrees Fahrenheit, and Zirconia 4870 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Does Ceramic Insulate Heat?

Heat capacity, thermal expansion, and thermal conductivity are the essential properties of ceramics. Many ceramic applications, including heat insulation, are related to these properties. As such, thermal energy can either be transmitted or stored by solids.

Can Ceramic Plates Go in the Microwave?

Yes, ceramic plates made of stoneware and porcelain can safely go into the microwave. However, it would help if you first check out for any metal edges or finishes before you can microwave.

Again, you can use dry, unglazed ceramic, as it is considered safe for a microwave. Sadly, it’s made of porous material that absorbs water. Therefore, when heated in a microwave, the absorbed water heats up, causing uneven thermal expansion. 

How Can You Tell if Ceramic is Oven-Safe?

While most ceramics are considered safe for microwave, you may end up messing all your kitchenware. Microwaves are convenient kitchen appliances; however, there are certain measures you should observe when it comes to your dishes. 

Before you can use any plate in the microwave, make sure to check for the oven-safe symbol or writing. Some dishes will break, melt, or even burn you when wrongly used. This could also mean severe damages to your microwave. If the dish in the picture is safe for the microwave, you can use it for cooking and storing your leftovers. For the non-microwave safe dishes, avoid using in the microwave. Instead, use them for serving or storage. 

1. Examine the Dish

To check for the oven-safe symbol or information, please turn the dish upside down. This information is often found beneath containers or dishes. The information can either be “Microwave Safe” or “Not for Use in Microwaves.” If you’re still skeptical about this information, please proceed to the next step.

2. Turn Up The Head

Switch on your oven and set it to the highest power configuration. Note that this process will vary depending on the microwave manufacturer. So it would be best to consult with your microwave’s manufacturer for accurate instructions to avoid messing up things. Meanwhile, you’ll find these buttons in most microwaves; “Power,” “Power Level,” “Menu” or “Settings.” The default setting is always the highest power configuration. 

3. Add Water

Into a glass measuring cup or glass bowl, add one cup of water. Insert both the cup of water and the plate into the microwave. If the dish is large, consider putting the cup of water inside. Do not pour water into the dish in the picture. 

4. Set the Time

Once everything is set, microwave both the dish and the cup of water for at least a minute. If the dish gets warm after heating, then it isn’t ideal for use in the microwave. In contrast, the dish is microwave-safe if it maintains the initial temperature. 

The area around the cup may get warm if you put a cup of water on or inside the dish. The remaining parts should maintain its room temperature to be considered safe for microwave.

Container Microwave Warnings and Tips

Now that you can ascertain whether or not a dish is microwave safe, use masking tape or permanent marker to mark the bottom of non-microwave safe dishes. This will help distinguish the dishes whenever you want to reheat foods in the future. 

Glass and ceramic without golden or silver rims are considered safe for the microwave. Glass cups can either be microwave-safe or not.

Finally, avoid microwaving frozen-food dishes, such as butter tubs as they can release toxic substances when exposed to high heating

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use a ceramic dish for baking a cake?

Yes, you can. However, you will have to bake longer than you would have in a stainless steel or aluminum baking pan. Most baking tins are good heat conductors compared to ceramic baking dishes. 

2. What temperature does ceramic crack?

Like any other glassware, ceramics can accommodate a certain range of temperatures. If you heat ceramic above 573 degrees Celsius, then your dish is more likely to crack. Cracks are often a result of thermal stress which primarily occurs during the firing process. 

3. Can Ikea plates be microwaved?

Yes, Ikea plates are microwave safe. They are made of tampered glass, making them durable and resistant to thermal stress. In practice, use the Ikea plate as a lid for your serving bowl to test its capabilities. What’s more, this plate is dishwasher-safe. 

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